By Joe Ellis

2nd Feb, 2022 | 5:30pm

Leeds United could have most valuable asset if he agrees a new deal

Raphinha’s agent Deco has been in talks with Leeds United over a new deal at Elland Road since before Christmas and he could become the club’s most valuable player.

The 25-year-old has been the best player in a white shirt this season by some distance and he is rightly attracting interest from elsewhere.

Most notably from West Ham who wanted to bring him and Kalvin Phillips to the London Stadium in a late January move [The Guardian].

But if Raphinha, who has started the last three games for Brazil in World Cup qualification, signs a new deal with Leeds, it doesn’t guarantee he stays, but it does ramp up the price.

As stated by David Anderson, The Mirror, “Instead of the bidding starting at £30million or £35million this summer when he would have two years left on his contract, Leeds can demand £50million or £60million before they even come to the negotiating table.”

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This kind of money is crazy talk for Leeds United whose previous record sale was that of Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United in 2002 (£30million).

It is almost imperative that Raphinha signs this new deal as he would not only become the highest-paid player at the club (currently Rodrigo) but also be allowed to leave when a good bid arrives at Victor Orta’s feet.

Even if we only take the lower of the two values Anderson mentions above, £50million is enough for Marcelo Bielsa or whoever is in charge when the time comes to make big changes to the side and improve each aspect.

Currently, The Whites are leaning towards being a one-man team as the lack of Raphinha often stifles any attacking creativity and they find it hard to win games in his absence.

So, while his departure will be a sad one when it happens, the cash that the club would receive will certainly be too much to turn down.

In other Leeds United news, there is still a chance this starlet leaves the club despite missing out on a deadline day move.